Rainey leads all 40 laps at Hattiesburg
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (June 12) — Derrick Rainey of Powder Springs, Ga., won the Fabgrill 40 for NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series competitors Friday at Hattiesburg Motorsports Park.
Driving a Warrior Race Car sponsored by the Hays Family Racing, Barto Enterprises and C&S Auto Electric, Rainey dominated from the pole position, leading all 40 laps to take the $2,000 top prize. In victory lane, Rainey felt emotional relief as he finally put his early season bad luck behind him.
“We have led a lot of laps this season, but we always seemed to have some kind of bad luck that kept us from winning,” Rainey said. “This just feels great to finally put all of that bad luck behind us and win one of these races. I feel like we’re really on a roll now.”
Rainey set fast time at the quarter-mile oval and never looked back in the feature. He was held up in lapped traffic late, but once he worked through the slower cars, he held a 5.6-second advantage over the rest of the field at the checkered flag.
“Most of the lapped cars did a good job getting up high and letting me by, but I got behind two guys racing for position, and I was starting to get a little concerned,” Rainey said. “We don’t run radios or mirrors, so I didn’t know how big of a lead I had until after the race when my crew told me.”
Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., had his best finish of the season with a second-place effort while two-time series champion David Gentry of Lewisburg, Tenn., was third. Ben McCreary of Baldwyn, Ga., was fourth — and the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race — while Larry Boutwell of Baker, Fla., rounded out the top five. Series points leader Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., finished seventh.
Fabgrill 40: (1) Derrick Rainey, (2) Matthew Turner, (3) David Gentry, (4) Ben McCready, (5) Larry Boutwell, (6) Cliff Williams, (7) Eric Cooley, (8) Shannon Lee, (9) Michael Santangelo, (10) Kody Barber, (11) Marcus Minga, (12) Michael Arnold, (13) Chase Washington, (14) Michael Blount, (15) Ashley Stockstill, (16) Lucky Keeton, (17) Tracy Brown, (18) Jamey Smith, (19) Johnny Rogers, (20) Owen Stockstill. Fast qualifier (among 20 cars): Rainey, 14.008 seconds. Consolation race winners: Williams, Cooley.s